Master Representative Payee File, Social Security Administration (SSA)

Effective Date:  April 19, 2013
78 FR 23811
Social Security Administration
[Docket No. SSA-2013-0015]
Notice of System of Records Alterations and Proposed New Routine Uses
Required by the Privacy Act of 1974

System Number: 60-0222

System name:  Master Representative Payee File, Social Security Administration (SSA)

Security Classification:  None.

System Location:  SSA, National Computer Center, 6201 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.  The system database is available by direct electronic access by Social Security field offices (FO).  FO addresses and telephone numbers can be found in local telephone directories under "Social Security Administration'' (SSA), or by accessing

Categories of individuals covered by the system
This system maintains information about all payees and payee applicants, including persons whose certifications as representative payees have been revoked or terminated on or after January 1, 1991; persons who have been convicted of a violation of sections 208, 811, and  1632 of the Social Security Act, as amended, persons convicted under other statutes in connection with services as a representative payee, and others whose certification as a representative payee SSA has revoked due to misuse of funds paid under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act; persons who are acting or have acted as representative payees;  representative payee applicants who were not selected to serve as representative payees; representative payee applicants who have been convicted of an offense resulting in more than one (1) year imprisonment; payees and payee applicants who have an outstanding felony warrant; organizational payees who have been authorized to collect a fee for their service; and beneficiaries/applicants who are being served by representative payees.

Categories of records in the system

Records in this system consist of:

  1. Names and Social Security numbers (SSNs) (or employer identification numbers (EINs)) of representative payees whose certifications for payment of benefits as representative payees have been revoked or terminated on or after January 1, 1991, because of misuse of benefits under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act;
  2. Names and SSNs (or EINs) of all persons convicted of violations of sections 208, 811, and  1632 of the Social Security Act, as amended;
  3. Names, addresses, and SSNs (or EINs) of persons convicted of violations of statutes other than sections 208 and 1632 of the Social Security Act, when such violations were committed in connection with the individual's service as a Social Security representative payee;
  4. Names, addresses, SSNs, and information about representative payee or representative payee applicant self-reported crimes, outstanding felony warrants, or imprisonment for a period exceeding one (1) year (an indicator will be used in the system to identify persons identified as having an outstanding felony warrant);
  5. Names, addresses, and SSNs (or EINs) of representative payees who are receiving benefit payments pursuant to section 205(j) or section 1631(a)(2) of the Social Security Act;
  6. Names, addresses, and SSNs of persons for whom representative payees are reported to be providing representative payee services under section 205(j) or section 1631(a)(2) of the Social Security Act;
  7. Names, addresses, and SSNs of representative payee applicants who were not selected as representative payees;
  8. Names, addresses, and SSNs of persons who were terminated as representative payees for reasons other than misuse of benefits paid to them on behalf of beneficiaries/recipients;
  9. Information concerning the representative payee's relationship to the beneficiaries/recipients they serve;
  10. Names, addresses, EINs, and qualifying information of organizations authorized to charge a fee for providing representative payee services;
  11. Codes which indicate the relationship (other than familial) between the beneficiaries/recipients and the persons who have custody of the beneficiaries/recipients;
  12. Dates and reasons for payee terminations (e.g., performance not acceptable, death of payee, beneficiary in direct payment, etc.) and revocations;
  13. Codes indicating whether representative payee applicants were selected or not selected;
  14. Dates and reasons representative payee applicants were not selected to serve as payees, dates and reasons for changes of payees (e.g., beneficiary in direct payment, a criminal history etc.);
  15. Amount of benefits misused;
  16. Identification number assigned to the claim on which the misuse occurred;
  17. Date of the determination of misuse;
  18. Information about a felony conviction reported by the representative payee;
  19. Criminal history information obtained from SSA databases, third parties, contractors, and other Federal agencies; and,
  20. Annual payee accounting reports.

Authority for maintenance of the system:
 Sections 205(a), 205(j), 208, 811, 1631(a), and 1632 of the Social Security Act, as amended, and the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-203).

Information maintained in this system will assist SSA in the selection process of a representative payee by enabling Social Security field offices to better screen applicants to determine their suitability to become representative payees.  SSA also will use the data for management information and workload projection purposes.  Additionally, we will use the information to prepare annual reports to Congress on representative payee activities.

Routine uses of records covered by the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:
Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below.  However, disclosure of any information defined as “return or return information” under 26 U.S.C. § 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code will not be disclosed unless authorized by a statute, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations.

  1. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal, when:
    1. The Social Security Administration (SSA), or any component thereof; or
    2. Any SSA employee in his or her official capacity; or
    3. Any SSA employee in his or her individual capacity where DOJ (or SSA, where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or
    4. The United States or any agency thereof where SSA determines that the litigation is likely to affect SSA or any of its components, is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, a court or other tribunal, or another party before the tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that in each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for
      which the records were collected.
  2. To a congressional office, in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of the records.
  3. To the General Services Administration and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. §§ 2904 and 2906, as amended by the NARA Act of 1984, information that is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for the use of those agencies in conducting records management studies.
  4. To the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Regional Office, Manila, Philippines, for the administration of the Social Security Act in the Philippines and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region through services and facilities of that agency.
  5. To the Department of State for administration of the Social Security Act in foreign countries through services and facilities of that agency.
  6. To the American Institute, a private corporation under contract to the Department of State, for administering the Social Security Act in Taiwan through facilities and services of that agency.
  7. To DOJ for:
    1. Investigating and prosecuting violations of the Social Security Act to which criminal penalties attach,
    2. Representing the Commissioner of Social Security, and,
    3. Investigating issues of fraud or violations of civil rights by officers or employees of the SSA.
  8. To the Office of the President, for responding to an inquiry received from the subject of the records or a third party acting on behalf of the subject.  
  9. To DVA for the shared administration of DVA's and the SSA's representative payee programs.
  10. To contractors and other Federal Agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting the SSA in the efficient administration of its programs.  We will disclose information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter into a contractual or similar agreement to obtain assistance in accomplishing an SSA function relating to this system of records.
  11. To a third party such as a physician, social worker, or community service worker, who has, or is expected to have, information, which is needed to evaluate one or both of the following:
    1. The claimant's capability to manage or direct the management of his or her benefits.
    2. Any case in which disclosure aids investigation of suspected misuse of benefits, abuse or fraud, or is necessary for program integrity, or quality appraisal activities.
  12. To a third party, where necessary, information pertaining to the identity of a payee or payee applicant, the fact of the person's application for or service as a payee, and, as necessary, the identity of the beneficiary, to obtain information on employment, sources of income, criminal justice records, stability of residence, and other information relating to the qualifications and suitability of representative payees or representative payee applicants to serve as representative payees, or their use of the benefits paid to them under section 205(j) or section 1631(a) of the Social Security Act.
  13. To a claimant or other individual authorized to act on his or her behalf information concerning the status of his or her representative payee or the status of the application of a person applying to be his or her representative payee, and information pertaining to the address of a representative payee applicant or a selected representative payee when this information is needed to pursue a claim for recovery of misapplied or misused benefits.
  14. To the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for the administration of RRB's representative payment program.
  15. To student volunteers, persons working under a personal services contract, and other workers who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for SSA, as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned agency functions.
  16. To the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for the administration of OPM's representative payee programs.
  17. To the Secretary of Health and Human Services or to any State, any record or information requested in writing by the Secretary for the purpose of administering any program administered by the Secretary, if records or information of such type were so disclosed under applicable rules, regulations and procedures in effect before the date of enactment of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994.
  18. To appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when:
    1. we suspect or confirm a compromise of security or confidentiality of information;
    2. we determine that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, risk of identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs that rely upon the compromised information; and
    3. we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons will assist us in our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.
  19. To third parties, contractors, or other Federal Agencies, as necessary, to conduct criminal background checks and to obtain criminal history information on representative payees and representative payee applicants.
  20. To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors as appropriate, if necessary:
    1. To enable them to protect the safety of SSA employees and customers, the security of the SSA workplace and the operation of SSA facilities, or
    2. To assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affect such safety and security, or activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:  We maintain records in this system in paper form and system generated forms and in electronic files.

Retrievability:  We will retrieve records by both SSN and name.  If we deny an application because the applicant submitted fraudulent evidence, or if we are verifying evidence we suspect to be fraudulent, we will retrieve records by the applicant's name plus month and year of birth, or by the applicant's name plus the eleven-digit reference number of the disallowed application.

Safeguards:  We have established safeguards for automated records in accordance with our Information Systems Security Handbook.  These safeguards include maintaining the magnetic tapes and discs within a secured enclosure attended by security guards.  Anyone entering or leaving this enclosure must have a special badge we issue only to authorized personnel.

For computerized records, we or our contractors, including organizations administering our programs under contractual agreements, transmit information electronically between Central Office and field office locations.  Safeguards include a lock/unlock password system, exclusive use of leased telephone lines, a terminal-oriented transaction matrix, and an audit trail. 

Only authorized personnel who have a need for the records in the performance of their official duties may access paper files.

We annually provide to all our employees and contractors appropriate security guidance and training that include reminders about the need to protect PII and the criminal penalties that apply to unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, PII.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(1).  Furthermore, employees and contractors with access to databases maintaining PII must sign a sanction document annually, acknowledging their accountability for inappropriately accessing or disclosing such information.

Retention and disposal:  We retain and destroy this information in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration approved records schedules N1-47-09-04, Master Beneficiary Record, and N1-47-09-5, Supplemental Security Income Record.  We retain most paper forms only until we film and verify them for accuracy.  We then shred the paper records.  We retain electronic and updated microfilm and microfiche records in accordance with the approved records schedules.  We update all tape, discs, microfilm, and microfiche files periodically.  We erase out-of-date magnetic tapes and discs and we shred out-of-date microfiches.

System manager(s) and address:  Associate Commissioner, Office of Income Security Programs, Social Security Administration, Room 252 Altmeyer Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.

Notification procedures:  Persons can determine if this system contains a record about them by writing to the system manager at the above address and providing their name, SSN, or other information that may be in this system of records that will identify them.  Persons requesting notification by mail must include a notarized statement to us to verify their identity or must certify in the request that they are the person they claim to be and that they understand that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another person under false pretenses is a criminal offense.
Persons requesting notification of records in person must provide their name, SSN, or other information that may be in this system of records that will identify them, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver’s license.  Persons lacking identification documents sufficient to establish their identity must certify in writing that they are the person they claim to be and that they understand that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another person under false pretenses is a criminal offense. 

Persons requesting notification by telephone must verify their identity by providing identifying information that parallels the information in the record about which notification is sought.  If we determine that the identifying information the person provides by telephone is insufficient, we will require the person to submit a request in writing or in person.  If a person requests information by telephone on behalf of another person, the subject person must be on the telephone with the requesting person and with us in the same phone call.  We will establish the subject person’s identity (his or her name, SSN, address, date of birth, and place of birth, along with one other piece of information such as mother’s maiden name), and ask for his or her consent to provide information to the requesting person.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR §§ 401.40 and 401.45.

Record access procedures:  Same as notification procedures.  Persons must also reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR § 401.40(c).

Contesting record procedures:  Same as Notification procedures.  Requester should also reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting and the corrective action sought, and the reasons for the correction, with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate, or irrelevant.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations at 20 CFR § 401.65(a).

Record source categories:  Information in this system is obtained from representative payee applicants and representative payees; third parties, contractors, and other Federal agencies; the SSA Office of Inspector General; and other SSA systems of records such as the Claims Folder System, 60-0089, Master Beneficiary Record, 60-0090, Supplemental Security Income Record and Special Veterans Benefits, 60-0103, Master Files of SSN Holders and SSN Applications,
60-0058, Recovery of Overpayments, Accounting and Reporting, 60-0094, and Prisoner Update Processing System, 60-0269.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act: